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Caught in the Web: Lakers gear up for the road

51982405

Bryant plans to return tonight against Memphis, with his five-game absence because of a sprained left ankle and injured tendon ending after a four-day stretch between games.

The return couldn't come at a better time with the days off aiding his recovery process, but Bryant maintained the timing to be purely coincidental.

"Days off and the next day doesn’t have anything to do with my decision," Bryant said. "It’s just all about how I feel at that point."

The Lakers see Bryant's return as sorely needed, despite going 4-1 during his absence and playing their next game tonight against the Grizzlies (28-27), which have lost seven of their last 10 games. But don't forget, Memphis beat the Lakers early in the month, capping a 5-3 trip and souring the night Bryant surpassed Jerry West as the franchise's all-time leading scorer.

Then there's the fact that the Lakers (42-14) have only four games remaining this month, before beginning a March schedule that features 11 road games and three sets of back-to-backs. The Lakers have experienced those travels before with their eight-game trip in January, but it's a challenge nonetheless that coincides with Bryant coming back into the lineup. For Bryant, he hopes any adjustment period between the four-day layoff and his return will be minimal.

Anytime you have this many days off, it’s always starting the engines up a little bit," Bryant said. "It takes a while for the engines to warm up."

More Lakers links (after the jump)

--Take it for what it's worth. I'm just providing the link, but by no means does this mean I think this is accurate. Nonetheless, the New York Post's Peter Vecsey outlines a scenario where Jackson would ultimately coach the Clippers next season.

--Lakers trainer Gary Vitti has surely been busy these days, what with monitoring Bryant's countless injuries. The Times' Broderick Turner shows just how demanding Vitti's job entails. It's a service Bryant says he appreciates.

--In his latest NBA rankings, Hoopsworld's Eric Pincus currently has the Lakers at No. 2. But he expects great things with Bryant's return. Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix already has the Lakers at the top spot, thanks to Cleveland's three-game losing streak. ESPN's Marc Stein seconds that notion. ESPN's John Hollinger agrees too.

--Silver Screen and Roll exlains why the remaining stretch of games is critical for the Lakers' playoff success. Forum Blue and Gold provides a blueprint on how Bryant and his teammates should play together.

--It may not have been The conventional wisdom at the time, but the Commercial Appeal's Ronald Tillery notes how the Memphis Grizzlies benefitted from trading Pau Gasol to the Lakers.

--With his history with Memphis, Gasol admitted he has extra incentive against his former team. There's also another incentive, since his brother, Marc, plays for the Grizzlies as well. In the video below, you can see Gasol takes his rivalry with his brother with a competitive spirit, as indicated by initial testiness when asked if he thinks Marc would ever surpass him as a basketball player. Jackson also manages to drop two "Word of the Days" when describing Marc's progression.

Tweet of the Day: "Ron Artest didn't know who the Grizzlies' coach is today at practice. Also didn't know the USA-Canada hockey outcome" -- mcten (ESPN Los Angeles' NBA reporter Dave McMenamin).

--Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter. E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: While Lakers forward Lamar Odom collides with Memphis center Hasheem Thabeet on a driving layup, Grizzlies guard Rudy Gay gets his hand tangled in the net. Credit: Mike Brown/EPA.

 
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*Repost*

Great article by John Hollinger today on the Lakers success without Kobe. I know many are not Insider subscribers so here it is, in all its glory...

...

It's easy to forget now, but a few years ago the Lakers were a one-man team. In 2005-06, Kobe Bryant averaged a league-leading 35.4 points per game, the league's second-highest scoring average in the past 40 years, and all that got the Lakers was a 45-37 record and a first-round exit courtesy of Phoenix.

Back then, L.A. depended on Bryant to have any chance to win. He missed two games that season, and the Lakers lost both of them; when he took an on-court DNP in the second half of Game 7 in Phoenix, the Suns outscored the Lakers by 16 points. For that season, opponents outscored the Lakers by 5.2 points per 100 possessions with Bryant off the court.

Fast-forward to 2010, and it's a completely different story in L.A. -- one that largely explains how the Lakers went from playoff speed bump to NBA champions. Bryant, who is expected to return Tuesday night for the Lakers' game in Memphis, missed the past five games with a sprained left ankle, but L.A. survived four battles against playoff teams and a scrimmage against Golden State with an impressive 4-1 mark. The lone defeat came by a single point, and all four wins were by double digits.

The Lakers still play worse with Bryant off the court -- they're being outscored by 3.0 points per 100 possessions without him on the hardwood -- but in this case the stat reflects the general failings of the bench rather than the Lakers' dependence on Bryant. Fellow starters Pau Gasol, Derek Fisher and Ron Artest have similar, though not quite as large, differentials between the team's performance with them on the court and off it. And watching the team thrive without Bryant is instructive in figuring out how it developed a championship-caliber supporting cast.

For starters, there's now an alternate Plan A. The oft-heard criticism of the Lakers offensively is that they tend to forget about Gasol. Between running plays for Bryant -- never a bad idea, mind you -- and trying to get Andrew Bynum involved, Gasol at times becomes the forgotten man in L.A.'s offense. Gasol's unselfishness is also a factor, as he'll pass even when the Lakers would prefer that he shoot -- the penultimate possession against Boston, for example. Regardless, I don't think it's a state secret that Gasol is unhappy with his volume of touches when the Lakers have their full complement of starters.

But in Bryant's absence, Gasol got at least a dozen shot attempts for five straight games -- the first time that's happened all season. You can also see the renewed emphasis on Gasol in his assist totals: He collected 22 dimes in the five games Bryant missed.

Equally important was that the point guards finally stepped up. L.A.'s production from the 1 spot has been nonexistent much of the season, with Derek Fisher's flailing attempt at the end of the Boston game reinforcing the idea that the Lakers need serious help at the point. But it was Fisher's late 3 in Game 4 in Orlando, and Jordan Farmar's ability to defend Aaron Brooks in the second round, that were contributing reasons to L.A.'s title a season ago; perhaps we're overthinking things here.

To support that point, let me offer one bit of evidence to counter the Lakers' tales of point guard woe: With Bryant's absence giving them the opportunity to create plays, the point guards held their own. L.A.'s duo of Fisher and Farmar combined for 94 points in the four victories. Farmar in particular played some of his best basketball in that stretch, putting together three straight double-figure games for the first time since March 2008.

The duo was able to score without turning the ball over, either. The two produced only 14 miscues in the five games, acceptable considering they averaged in the high teens in scoring and did the bulk of the ballhandling.

Those two were the main reasons L.A.'s offense didn't go in the tank without Bryant. The offense wasn't great, putting up 100.8 points per 100 possessions, but even with Bryant it hadn't been going gangbusters (106.2).

Which takes us to the biggest reason L.A. won without Bryant, and the biggest reason the Lakers might repeat as champions: the defense. For all the talk about the triangle and Kobe and the power of their post threats, the 2009-10 Lakers are, first and foremost, a defensive juggernaut.

This represents a wholesale change for the Kobe-era Lakers. For nine consecutive seasons, they rated higher in offensive efficiency than defensive efficiency, including a last-place finish in defensive efficiency in 2004-05. While L.A.'s defense improved the past two seasons, each time the Lakers made the Finals primarily as an offensive team.

This season, the tables have turned. Believe it or not, the Lakers aren't a terribly imposing offensive team even with Bryant. Currently, L.A. ranks 10th in offensive efficiency, with five potential playoff rivals in the West ranking higher. It's the defense -- ranked a close second behind Boston in efficiency -- that has L.A. alone atop the Western Conference standings.

Without Bryant these past five games, the D didn't miss a beat. In fact, the Lakers suffocated the five opponents, permitting just 93.4 points per 100 possessions.

In particular, they rebounded like crazy. L.A. permitted only 32 offensive rebounds in the five games without Bryant, while it grabbed 169 defensive caroms. That's an unheard-of 84.1 percent defensive rebound rate, with Lamar Odom (64 defensive boards in five games) warranting special mention for his Dennis Rodman impersonation.

All this is par for the course when looking at the Lakers' defensive results this season. It's impossible to get anything easy against them because they don't give up second shots, don't allow 3-pointers and don't put people on the line.

The Lakers are fifth in the NBA in defensive rebound rate at 74.9 percent. With their impressive size in the paint and the ability of most of their players (most notably Ron Artest) to defend one-on-one without help, the Lakers are also the NBA's best team at cutting off the 3-point line: L.A. opponents shoot only 31.7 percent from beyond the arc this season. Meanwhile, the free throw line is a no-go zone, as L.A. leads the league in fewest opponent free throw attempts per field goal attempt.

Because of its strong one-on-one defenders and team concept, L.A. can survive Bryant's absence on the defensive end virtually unscathed. While the offense can't quite say the same thing, players like Gasol and Bynum are certainly capable of having big nights in his absence.

As a result, the Lakers are miles beyond where they stood three or four seasons ago. Whereas the Lakers once were a one-man show, the resilient D and post attack now make the team an ensemble cast -- one that's strong enough to succeed even in the ringleader's absence.

What do you guys think of this trade scenario for this offseason?

http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=ygg9qc5

Here is another Vecsey intrigue, this time about the future of Kobe and PJ.

http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/more_sports/zen_and_where_QnCqu8Qdt81nRtoEOLgnoK

If Vecsey is telling the truth, will it also mean that will be the end of Mamba24 and Justanothermamba in the blog.

You know what, we kept on comparing an aging Fisher and a 5year rookie, Farmar. If we have an expiring contract worth Fisher 5M + Farmar 2M + Morrison 5.25 = 12.250M. If it needs to include Shannon, Mbenga and Powell, let's go for the best man available on F/A day. I think this is enough to woo Dwayne Wade as PG of the Lakers in 2010-2011.

Why settle for less making the half of the fans unhappy when we are the Lakers - the home of best players (all the time)? 50% here don't like Fisher, another 50% don't like Farmar, another 40% don't appreciate Shannon....well get rid all of them and just go for the best CP3, Deron, D'Wade or Rubio, anything less forget it.

Anyone know what the final word on Big Z is? Will he be allowed back to the Cavs or not?


Wes

Our Lakers players are still the best in NBA if they're healthy.

However, I can't really say that to the Laker fans in the blog. They just love sniping at each other, calling names, protecting their beloved players as if it is their closest kin.

I think we should all go with M/M as an ideal fan. He just goes along with what you want, criticize his work, he just rides with your criticism but maintain the standard. If posters will just be like M/M sharing and tolerating, I think we'll be zanier than before.

Edwin - Wow whoulda thunk you would be praising me, what after all these too many posts and wanting to fatten my wallet by getting more clicks. Hah. Honestly any feedback is good feedback. I know it's never personal but to make the Lakers blog the best it can be.

MM

Can some one convince D. Fish to play team defense from the bench?

I can't wait for Fisher to be gone by the end of this season. He should hang them up for good. He's not a starting PG material anywhere. Not even for Nets of Clippers

Yeah, MM, you're definitely MVB (Most Valuable Blogmaster) this year. I can hear it now on the game chat...MVB!!!...MVB!!!...MVB!!!...

Gotta co-sign with Edwin. This latest bumper crop of so called "Laker Fans" and their Chicken Little mentality has made this place less and less fun as the days go by.

wesjoe- I won't believe that Z isn't going back to the Cavs until someone else resigns him, or the NBA says something definitive about this "evidence" that there was a prearrangement.

puddle,

Great trade for the Lakers (Sasha for Turiaf AND Collison? Sick).

Good trade for New Orleans (dump Peja, add a big scorer in Ellis)

I doubt the Warriors would go for it. Give up Turiaf and Ellis and all they get
back is Peja Stojakovic? Not likely.

I'm guessing your reasoning is that it's a salary dump for Golden State - send out 15 million & only take back 13, and dump the last 3 years of Monta's salary off the books. But I'm pretty sure they can get something much better than Peja back for Monta Ellis.

Ironically, the trade machine says that if the Lakers trade Sasha for Collison and Turiaf, they get 1 game worse. That doesn't make sense at all.

LTLF -

Yes, my thinking was that it would be a salary dump for Golden State. But remember, it's not just sending out $15 million and taking $13 million back. It's sending out $15 million x 4 (the remaining # of years on the deal) and taking back $13 million x 1. In essence, they're saving $47 million ($15 x 3 = $45, + $2, the difference in salaries for 2010-2011) that can be allocated elsewhere. They can either let Peja hoist a million threes in their crazy system for a year and let his contract expire, clearing themselves a huge amount of cap space, or they can use his valuable expiring contract as a trade asset midway through the season. Also keep in mind that the Warriors have shown many signs that they're DYING to get rid of Monta Ellis. They regretted that contract almost as soon as they gave it to him (starting with the moped accident). He and Curry essentially play the same position and I think the Warriors - like the Kings were with Evans and Martin - are not convinced that this partnership is ideal. Their gaping hole is at the PG and PF spot. They have way too many SG and this gets rid of the guy who is standing in the way of their true future star - Stephen Curry.

If anything, the team that I think would say no is the Hornets. Shinn has a reputation much like Donald Sterling, and taking on the remaining 4 years of Monta Ellis's deal may be too much for him to swallow.

But each team gets what it needs: Lakers, a talented young point guard and an hustling fan favorite. Hornets, more offensive punch along CP3, West and Okafor (plus Sasha's expiring deal). And the Warriors get a HUGE expiring contract. $13 million in today's economy is enough to land a bona fide All-Star, which they could use to actually fill a position where they need help.

Questions for anyone that knows. (1) What is the Max contract Wade or Bosh can sign for away from their current teams as Free Agents? (2) If Dr. Buss wants to, how high can he take the payroll next year? (3) If the Cap is $70 Mil and we are at $100 Mil, does he pay $30 Mil more in Taxes?
One reason I ask is, if EG is right about interest in Wade, we can clear out about $12 Mil or so, could Wade sign for $20 Mil and say, that puts us at aprox $103 Mil? I mean as look as Dr. Buss would pay it all, could we.? PLMK, thanks guys!

LakerTom,

“Prevaricators and stat cherry pickers with a single minded objective to misrepresent and misinform.”

It’s always easier to create your own strawman and beat on that with a stick, instead of actually addressing logically valid points raised by others. The strawman fallacy is a well know tactic, a textbook method of intellectual dishonesty which invalidates even true arguments.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never claimed that Bynum is a better player than Gasol, although I do expect him to be eventually. However, there are some things that he already does better, but those things mostly involve defense and using his bulk to slow down bigger bigs.

I refuse to be sucked into false dilemmas and mischaracterizations of facts, and opinions of others. Statistics don’t prove anything by themselves, they require interpretation and a dedication to extracting truth from data regardless of whether it supports a preconceived agenda or not.

wesjoe -

There's no final word on Z yet. Essentially, the Wizards have a little bit of leverage in the buyout process, which is pretty much the only reason it hasn't happened yet, but it will eventually. The league may mumble and grumble about Z going back to the Cavs, but there really isn't anything they can do about it, and there's no way they'll prove a pre-arranged deal. It's their own stupid rules that allow for these kinds of things to happen every year.

The only possibility of Z NOT going back to the Cavs is if someone overwhelms him with an offer he can't resist. The Mavs have been brought up as a potential suitor. But I doubt they're willing to shell out what it would take to convince Z not to go back to the only team he's ever known. I'd say it's 98% sure that Z will be back on the Cavs bench before the end of March.

Edwin:

Wade is NOT a PG, he's also a SG like Kobe. He handles the ball a lot of times (like Kobe, James etc.. do). However, he's still only a SG.

Hey nutcases the Lakers are not getting Wade !!! You only have one ball...he is not coming to the Lakers to be Kobe's sidekick !!! He wants to be the man !!!

wow, they keep saying we got Pau for a bag of chips and Cleveland's pretty much getting Antawn for now-n-laters!

same difference.

Thinking a little ahead, is Sunday's game v. Denver a "must" win? Ok, must is too strong, but how big of a game is it? The Nugs have to be feeling pretty full of themselves by now, esp after beating us, the Cavs, and the Celts over last few weeks. Do the Lakes need to make a statement?

The Hawks should make an offer to sign Big Z. If the Cavs resign Z, the Hawks don't stand a chance in the playoffs. I'm not saying Atlanta can go all the way to the finals, but they can make a serious push, which is always something to build on. They (Atlanta) gave Boston a fight in the playoffs last season.

MM,

Do you have any answers for me on my questions just a bit ago? Doesn't matter who we get or if we get, still like to know all options at years end. And for others, according to some, we don't need a PG in the Triangle system. So if we could get a Wade or whoever at the guard position, doesn't matter if he's a PG or not, according to some.

Mark G,

In my opinion, we probably need to make some sort of winning statement against Denver, sure wouldn't like to go down 0-3.

>>>(1) What is the Max contract Wade or Bosh can sign for away from their
>>>current teams as Free Agents?

It depends on the salary cap, but somewhere in the neighborhood of 17 to 20 million for the first year's salary.

>>>>(2) If Dr. Buss wants to, how high can he take the payroll next year?

Technically, as high as he wants... but only on existing Lakers. If he wants to throw Shannon and Jordan and DJ and Josh contracts starting at 10 million a year each, he could do that.

Where he's limited is in how much he can spend to acquire players that aren't currently on the Lakers roster. The max he can offer there is a mid level exception (which starts around 6 million).

>>>(3) If the Cap is $70 Mil and we are at $100 Mil, does he pay $30 Mil more in Taxes?

You're confusing the cap and the luxury tax line here. Right now the Salary Cap is around 56 million and the Luxury Tax line is at 70 million. And wrt that, if the luxury tax line is at 70 million and we are at 100 million, then yes, he would pay 30 million in taxes.

>>>One reason I ask is, if EG is right about interest in Wade, we can clear out
>>>about $12 Mil or so, could Wade sign for $20 Mil and say, that puts us at
>>>aprox $103 Mil?

Doesn't work. The Lakers currently have about 83 million in contracts for next season. And the Salary Cap is expected to go DOWN to around 50 million. So basically the Lakers would have to dump off 53 million in contracts to make a max offer to Wade (or LeBron or Bosh).

It is actually possible for them to do it. There are 6 or seven teams with at least 20 million in cap space this summer. All the Lakers would have to do is trade Kobe, Pau, and Drew to teams with cap space and take back no players in return, and then they'd have enough cap space to make a max offer.

So what do you think? All you've gotta do is give up Kobe, Pau, and Bynum and you could have a shot at Dwyane Wade!!!!! WOW!!! What a deal!!! Think it's worth it?

So you're probably thinking, "NOOOO. LTLF MUST be wrong. We shouldn't have to give up 3 stars just to get 1!!!". But Kobe alone is under contract for 25 million next season. Pau will make 17 million and Bynum will make 13 million. If the Salary Cap came in at maybe 51 or 52 million, then the Lakers could dump off every player except Pau and Drew and make a max offer. Then they'd have to sign players at the league minimum to fill out the roster.

The only way the Lakers could conceivably get any of the 4 big name players that are becoming available this summer is by sign-and-trade, and then only if the player forced their team's hand.

For example, if Bosh told Toronto that he definitely didn't want to re-sign with them and he was either going to go to New York and they'd get nothing or they could agree to sign-and-trade him to the Lakers, then maybe the Lakers could get Bosh for Bynum + filler. But even in the astronomically unlikely situation that that happens, the Lakers would have to give up at least one of the big 3 to get their prize (e.g. give up Bynum in a package for Bosh, give up Pau in a deal for LeBron, etc)

Let's just say the Clippers have VASTLY higher chance of having Wade or LeBron on their roster next season than the Lakers do.

after shooting his 1-7 or 2-9, Fisher feel energized on defense.

same with Paul after he touches the ball many times till the 24sec expire.

the latest post on SS&R (silver screen and roll) is called

"Guess Who's Coming to Dinner"

too bad they did not mention the second title:

"Guess who's eating leftovers"

"With his history with Memphis, Gasol admitted he has extra incentive against his former team. " MM

if i recall, our demagog PF had his butt kicked by his little brother in the last game. he ate his breakfast, lunch and dinner.

so, Kobe eats first, the brother stills the left overs. not surprised Gasol is so thin, unnourished and gutless in the Crunch.

I see that MM's at least workin' in his PJs for these interviews...

LTLF,

Thanks for the info. Just didn't know if the League had a hard $$ number on, as you explained, the Cap and/or Luxury Cap. Yeah, I was just thinking that if the League only had $$ penalties on who could sign for what, I suppose Mark Cuban would sign LBJ and Bosh and Wade, ha, ha. No, guess that wouldn't be funny!

I could be wrong, but I'm picking up on some Gasol hate.

Kobe in Cupertino,

So is Kobe and Odom, they are not PG. Shannon Brown is not used as a PG in College. It is only in the modern era where responsibilities are dilineated but if you are dedicated player and the name of offense is a triangle, most of the SG, PG and include here the SF can be converted into PG's. In the International Basketball scene where specialties are limited, if you cannot play the all-around game, then you'll never advance to become a national player. As you can see even Gasol can dribble the ball like a PG because that is the training he acquired as a young player. If D'Wade joins the Lakers, you can interchange the players positions from Kobe to LO and Wade and they will play better for that position better than bona fide PG's like Fisher, Farmar and Brown.

LTLF,

Just like how you use Jordan Farmar's Game 3 as an indicator of how good he can be? You use that game so much yet ignore his mediocre performances in the other games. Just like D-Fish's critics always point out how Brooks burned him in Game 4, they always ignore Games 3,5,7 when Brooks did not have his way.

Again if Jordan was good enough the Lakers would have 1) Gave him the starting nodd already, 2) Gave an idicator they would re-sign him and 3) Gave Farmar more minutes than Fish as Phil did with Luke Walton in 05-06 over Brian Cook before eventually settling on Luke over Cook.

The fact remains that while Jordan Farmar is shooting the ball a bit better than Derek Fisher the fact that Fish's ball handling is nearly equal to Farmar just goes to show that Farmar's ball handling isn't as there and this is a Jordan Farmar who is chasing a contract to remain in LA similar to how Sasha seemingly exploded yet had a severe down year in 08-09.

Jordan's game requires him to be more ball dominant than Fish would and while he has played well he is more suited for a run and gun offense which ironically the bench would be.

And as for that one remark where Sasha "slowed Ray Allen"...it's more Ray Ray finally cooled off than Sasha's defense which was like this....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5Egcl2YXWc

Hey Aztronaught.....can you kindly name me one big that Bynum has "slowed down"? I seem to always hear how Bynum is needed to slow down bigger centers but 1) It was Gasol rather Bynum who slowed down Howard and 2) Bynum was overmatched against a 37 year old Deisel TWICE.

And here's more statistics for you since you love to use a DER:

Net +48 points
------------------
Gasol: +10.5
Bryant: +9.9
Artest: +9.2
Odom: + 8.4
Fisher: +9.2
Bynum: +6.7

Despite Bynum's offensive production wow he sure is even worst than Fisher. Maybe it's because of a lack consistent team defense that's keeping that number worst than Fisher who is getting burned on D quite a bit huh?

Source: http://www.82games.com/0910/0910LAL1.HTM

There's a reason why Phil goes to Gasol-Odom over Bynum in most crunch time so your argument doesn't really have much water.

BynumTom,

Still with the childish name calling? Shows your maturity. Even Wilt would be laughing from grave. He would have have picked up you and Bynum with both his arms and say "I thought I told you both not to disrespect me by calling this juvenile delinquent a beast when I am Da BEAST" I wonder who you would then call the Beast LOL!

"Could Phil, Kobe be Clipped from Lakers?"

-Peter Vecsey, by the way, just for the record, this is Al Michaels. That was a totally farcical call.

-Vecsey: ummmm.

-Michaels: Lest anybody think that that was somebody who was truly connected to the NBA that was not. He said something in code at the end that's indicative of the mentioning of the name of a certain radio talk show host.

-Vecsey: OK, thanks.

-Michaels: He was not there.

-Vecsey: OK, we have them on every coast. Thank you very much.

WUTTUP CRUE!!!

Edwin - you said "If Vecsey is telling the truth, will it also mean that will be the end of Mamba24 and Justanothermamba in the blog."


LOL - first of all there is no way on god's green earth that Kobe would go to the Clippers. He's always wanted to be a Laker, and he's already answered the question with "where I'm gonna go?" NO WAY. Not happening.


And B) - why would Mamba24 and I leave if such a crazy thing happened in a parallel universe? LOL! We're fans of the Mamba for sure, but the LAKERS are where it's at!!!


C U all on the live chat!!!!

I could be wrong, but I'm picking up on some Gasol hate.

Posted by: Mark G | February 23, 2010 at 01:43 PM

it is not hate, just pointing out his hypocrisy. he does not like when PJ goes to the media and comments indirectly regarding certain players.

at the end of the road trip, (he chocked in cleveland; he passed out in crunch to farmar and shannon when he had the dunk in toronto also indirectly creaming Kobe of his triple-double; he played poorly in Memphis), he came to the press ignoring Kobe's accomplishment of being the Lakers highest scorer ever and he said: "now we can return to winning BB games" and also he complained about touches.

was that tactful? maybe PJ has the right to talk as a coach. but players like PG and DF have no business complaining about KOBE in the PRESS. especially when in his absence, like Boston, one failed to take initiative and made a PASS/turnover with the game on the line and the other one, Fish had the magnificent shot at the buzzer and especially after the whole team made ONE BASKET (a put back by LO) in 7-1/2 minutes.

and also on that note: KOBE played for the lakers 13 years. he is the marquee and franchise player. HE DOES NOT HAVE to adjust to anyone, even if there r 12 more players. they were brought IN to play ALONG kobe and to complement his hame

THIS IS THE MAMBA SHOW: until the rest of the players, and especially Bynum and Gasol DO NOT understand that, they should not be on the court. they should just SHUT up and do the WALK. they r sure good for the TALK.

I totally agree with LTLF who is well versed on contracts that the scenario of getting Wade must fall unto to right places. At 83M, the only options available are the qualifying offer available on Farmar 2.87M and Morrison 6.89M of which if you deduct that from 83M = 73.2M. It is still over the salary cap.

Here are the teams below caps next year:

1. Clippers - 33M
2. Chicago - 31M
3. Wizzards - 29M
4. Sacramento - 30M
5. Oklahoma - 40M
6. T'wolves - 35M
7. NY Knicks - 17M
8 . Brooklyn Nets - 26M

As it is, Lakers can only go with MLE and BiA, if these marquees players are willing to sacrifice. The teams aforementioned are just too enticing who are willing to pay a good pay check to Lebron, Wade, Amare and Bosh so why would Lakers benefit from them and if we don't stop hating Kobe, you can include from that lists too because that could be his leverage for not extending his contract. Lakers has to clear other salaries too like Sasha 5.4M one year remaining and Waltons 16.8 three years' remaining to be more competitive in getting better players in the pool.

As an analogy, Lakers are stuck between two stones: a good granite stone impregnable like El Capitan while the other one stone made of mud from alluvial soil of San Gabriel Mountains. If Lakers were a see saw, if the team leaned on the mud, we're on a shaky ground with Luke & Sasha contracts but if we take care of the granite like Kobe, LO, Artest, Gasol then we are on stable ground. Where does the beast and UPS fall in this analogy? They are fulcrums sometimes shaky and sometimes stable. Over the years, they could be stable if we are patient enough with them. Mind you, we are dealing here of post Fisher, post Farmar and post Ammo so there is nothing to deliberate who will be the better starter. Ship them both to save money and aggravation. lol!

Mamba24 - thanks for holding my place on the Welcome Back Kobe bandwagon. You know me too well!!!!

Anyone else think CJ Watson would be a PERFECT fit for the Lakers this offseason?

LTLF,

I'd have to disagree. I think the possibility of LBJ or Wade forcing their way to the Lakers is greater than them signing with the Clippers outright. Any reasonable superstar would prefer to join the Lakers, even if it means forcing a sign and trade.

BLOG CRUE
Getting ready for a game with Kobe and the rest of the CRUE!

Colorado loves our World Champion Lakers!

Justa,

If Vecsey were right, you have to remove the Mamba portion and put JustanotherBynumfan. Well, that's a hard name to use. Mamba24 will become Bynum17. lol!

Edwin Gueco,

>>>...qualifying offer available on Farmar 2.87M and Morrison 6.89M of which
>>>if you deduct that from 83M = 73.2M.

It's actually worse than you think. The 83 million number doesn't count Farmar and Morrison's qualifying offers. 83.9 million is for Kobe, Pau, Bynum, Odom, Artest, Sasha, Luke, and Shannon Brown.

KB Blitz,

>>>Just like how you use Jordan Farmar's Game 3 as an indicator of how good he
>>> can be? You use that game so much yet ignore his mediocre performances in
>>>the other games.

It's the ONLY example in the last 2 seasons of a game where Jordan started the game, played started level minutes (>30), and played mostly with the starters. There is no other evidence in the last two seasons for how Jordan Farmar would perform AS A STARTER.

How he plays as a bench player given limited minutes and yanked anytime he misses two shots in a row is irrelevant.

Mark G,

Statement games are for teams in second place. Never forget that. The Lakers had a lot of statement games last season. None this season. Especially with the way the Lakers showed just how meaningless regular season success is as a barometer of post season prowess.

The only statement games for the Lakers are closeout games in the playoffs.

The first of those is still a long way away.

--FEARless

EJK,

Fair enough. I think the odds of any of the big stars coming to either the Lakers or the Clippers is very low, but your opinion that a big star might want to jump onto a Championship juggernaut instead of the Draft Lottery express has some merit.

Is Vecsey on drugs or just bored?
PJ and Kobe to the Clippers?
What a waste of cyberspace.
I cant believe I even read that article, what nonsense.

Now the Silver Screen and Roll and the Forum Blue and Gold, that was some interesting reading.

ouchhhhhhhhh,

I don't like agreeing with you, but today you are on a rollllll!

Gasol, Artest and to some extent, Fisher have all been "The Man" on other teams. Of the three, only Gasol has been a complete failure in that role (in Memphis -- he was quite successful at it in Spain). Yet, he's the one complaining about "touches".

Are we aware that even with Kobe out, and Gasol getting his "touches" his offensive efficiency didn't make an appreciably rise? Gasol currently has other issues with his offense not named Kobe. IF Kobe were the problem, his offense should have improved in Kobe's absence.

His production went up, but not his efficiency. He is, in fact, getting alarmingly close (for a big man) to being a volume shooter. I personally think its a stamina issue related to his injuries and the recovery there from. He just doesn't want to admit it to us or himself, probably.

Watch how seamlessly Kobe comes back. Why? Because Kobe is in shape. His body can do what his mind tells it to.

Keep it up, ouchhhhhhhhh!

BTW, keep up the controversial stuff too. The banter is cool.

--FEARless

Hey nutcases the Lakers are not getting Wade !!! You only have one ball...he is not coming to the Lakers to be Kobe's sidekick !!! He wants to be the man !!!

Posted by: DFish | February 23, 2010 at 12:49 PM


Hey DFish,

This is the first post I've seen from you that wasnt bashing Derek or one of the other bloggers, nice. Also, I have to agree with you on this one.
Seriously, reading between the lines I suspect you might actually have some BB knowledge, would be nice to see you display it in other areas and topics. I mean, if you wanna call us nutcases thats ok too, this is your first post that made me laugh.

So lets see what you got that doesnt pertain to Fisher or the blogger you always go after, you up for it?

BLITZ… “Still with the childish name calling?” You can earn back my respect by stopping your outlandish exaggerations and outright lies about what my position is with respect to Andrew Bynum. Until you do that, I have no respect whatsoever for your posts and opinions. It’s fine to have disagreements but you have even admitted that the purpose of your posts is to irritate me. If you want to start fresh without the prevarication and antagonism, I would more than happy to do so. I for one would like to see this type of crap stop but I will not sit back and allow you and your buddy to distort and lie about what I have said and what I believe about Andrew, his potential, and his value to the Lakers. The ball is in your court as it has always been…
- - - - - - -
TOM


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